MicroTiles Amphitheater Centerpiece

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Christie MicroTiles are quickly becoming a favorite in the education field – seemingly because the new generation of tech-savvy students responds more enthusiastically to multimedia installations.

New York State’s Clarkson University is the latest to catch ‘the fever’ with Christie MicroTiles becoming the centerpiece of their amphitheater in the school’s new Student Center.

With the concept developed by Christie partner Video Visions, Inc., the video wall is the centerpiece of the amphitheater in the school’s new Student Center, which opened in September 2010.

Students voted to increase their own activity fees to help fund the center, and wanted to make it both welcoming and technologically advanced. The wall combines an array of 80 Christie MicroTiles arranged in a 10 wide by 8 high configuration, media servers, Crestron touch panel and 12 inputs (with expansion potential for 15), delivering a rich, vibrant audio/video experience that gives students information about campus events, sports feeds such as hockey games, live music from the campus radio station, and four HD television feeds. The installation is also used by students for video games, and is used to create interesting backdrops during live performances such as comedy nights or concerts.

Kevin Lynch, chief information officer at Clarkson told us “Our school is very technology-focused, so it was important for us to have state-of-the-art multimedi. We’re especially pleased that our design students can use the wall as a canvas for their own work. It gives them a learning experience on the latest in digital display technology. It’s also easy enough to program, so that anyone with good laptop skills can do it.”

Lynch said that when he and the IT team first reviewed all the available options, he was pleasantly surprised by the overall cost competitiveness of a Christie MicroTiles installation. “Upon factoring in the lower maintenance costs, greater longevity, and the fact that you can replace individual modules without scrapping the whole system, the total cost of ownership made MicroTiles the best option over competing proposals. Christie MicroTiles are also much more environmentally-friendly than most of the alternatives.”

The installation begins on the main floor of the amphitheater, and rises upward. It is easily seen throughout the center, including from some opera-style boxes at the side. Students check the Christie MicroTiles video wall regularly as they walk from one class to the next, and officials sometimes joke that the content is so compelling it’s hard to get people back to their work or studies.

About Clarkson

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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